College Football 2024 Conference Championship Week: Full List of Games & Locations

It's not too early to start planning your first weekend of December.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh celebrates defensive back Mike Sainristil (0), who was named MVP, after U-M's 26-0 win over Iowa in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Indianapolis.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh celebrates defensive back Mike Sainristil (0), who was named MVP, after U-M's 26-0 win over Iowa in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Indianapolis. / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

There was a time—not long ago, in fact— when only a few conferences hosted championship games. There was a time when conference championships, in fact, had to share their big week with conventional regular season games.

That time has gone the way of the dodo bird.

It's 2024, and every conference but the moribund Pac-12 has a championship game to call its own. Once novelties, these games have gradually woven themselves into the fabric of college football—who can forget Michigan State's epic drive against Iowa in 2015, or Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts's memorable relief outing in 2018?

With the 2024 conference championship schedule finalized, here's a look at what to expect in the final week of this coming regular season.

Full Schedule for 2024's FBS Conference Championship Games

CONFERENCE

DATE

TIME (EASTERN)/TV

LOCATION

American

Dec. 6

8:00 p.m., ABC

Home stadium of higher-seeded team

Conference USA

Dec. 6

8:00 p.m., CBS Sports

Home stadium of higher-seeded team

Mountain West

Dec. 6

8:00 p.m., Fox

Home stadium of higher-seeded team

MAC

Dec. 7

12:00 p.m., ESPN

Detroit

SEC

Dec. 7

4:00 p.m., ABC

Atlanta

Sun Belt

Dec. 7

7:30 p.m., ESPN

Home stadium of higher-seeded team

Big Ten

Dec. 7

8:00 p.m., CBS

Indianapolis

ACC

Dec. 7

TBD, ABC

Charlotte

Big 12

Dec. 7

TBD, ABC

Arlington, Texas

When does conference championship week start?

Most of the time, conference championship week starts on the first Friday of December. That is the case this year, when it starts Dec. 6.

How do you qualify for your conference championship?

In every FBS conference but the Sun Belt, you qualify for your conference championship by finishing in the top two in your conference's standings.

In the Sun Belt—the last FBS conference with divisions—you qualify for the conference championship by winning either the East or West division. That is a change from the recent past; the SEC, Big Ten and MAC all had divisions until 2023.

How many conference championships are there?

Nine, one for every FBS conference but the Pac-12—the ACC, American, Big Ten, Big 12, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, SEC and Sun Belt all have them.

How long have conferences had championship games?

Since 1992, the year South Carolina and Arkansas joined the SEC, the conference seized the opportunity to break into two six-team divisions and stage a championship game in Birmingham (the No. 2 Crimson Tide beat No. 12 Florida in the inaugural matchup, 28-21). Other leagues gradually followed: the Big 12 instituted one in 1996 (and then again in 2017 after a hiatus), the ACC in 2005, and the Big Ten in 2011.

In the Group of Five, the American has had a championship since expanding to 12 teams in '15. The Mountain West has had one since hitting a similar threshold in 2013. The MAC, Conference USA and Sun Belt have had title games since 1997, 2005 and 2018, respectively.

SEC Championship Game History

As previously discussed, the SEC championship dates to 1992 when the Gamecocks and Razorbacks joined what had been a 10-team league. The conference split into two divisions—East and West—and began playing a championship game, the first of which was won by Alabama.

After two years, the game moved from Birmingham to its current home in Atlanta. Six teams have won it—the Crimson Tide (11 times), the Gators (seven), LSU (five), Georgia (four), Auburn (three) and Tennessee (two). The consensus choice as the greatest SEC championship is probably 2012, when No. 2 Alabama pulled out a heart-stopping 32-28 victory over the No. 3 Bulldogs to wrap up a spot in the national championship.

Big Ten Championship Game History

The Big Ten was late to the conference championship party, playing its first such game in Indianapolis in 2011 after Nebraska's addition to the conference. Three years of non-geographic divisions—awkwardly named "Legends" and "Leaders"—gave way to a more traditional East-West alignment from 2014 to '23.

No. 15 Wisconsin downed the No. 11 Spartans 42-39 in '11 to win the first Big Ten championship game. Ohio State has won a record five such games, Michigan has won three, Michigan State and the Badgers two, and Penn State one. Only four have been one-possession games, of which the Spartans' aforementioned '15 victory remains the best.

Big 12 Championship Game History

There have been two distinct eras of the Big 12 championship: the '96 to 2010 era, when the game was between the North and South division champions, and the '17 to present era, when the game has been between the two best teams in the division-less conference.

St. Louis, San Antonio, Kansas City, Irving, Houston, and Arlington have all played host. The first Big 12 championship remains one of the most stunning conference championship upsets: a 37-27 win by unranked Texas over the No. 3 Cornhuskers. Those two teams also played the most memorable Big 12 championship: the No. 3 Longhorns' 13-12 squeaker over No. 21 Nebraska in 2009 (though some may vote for 1998 or 2019).

Teams to win the game include Oklahoma (11 times), Texas (four), Kansas State (two), the Cornhuskers (two), Baylor (one), Colorado (one) and Texas A&M (one).

ACC Championship Game History

The third major-conference championship chronologically dates to 2005, when Boston College's arrival allowed the ACC to split into the Atlantic and Coastal divisions. The league's non-geographic divisional format was abandoned temporarily in 2020 and permanently in '23.

Jacksonville, Tampa, Charlotte and Orlando have hosted the game. No. 22 Florida State upset No. 5 Virginia Tech in the first one, 27-22. The ACC's championship hasn't exactly been a well of classics, but the No. 2 Seminoles' win over No. 12 Georgia Tech in '14 and No. 1 Clemson's triumph over No. 8 North Carolina a year later provided excitement and controversy.

Six teams have won the ACC championship: Clemson (eight times, all since '11), Florida State (five), the Hokies (three), the Yellow Jackets (one), Pittsburgh (one) and Wake Forest (one).


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Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres is a staff writer on the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. He joined SI in December 2022, having worked for The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword and Diamond Digest. Andres has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism with a double major in history .